I read four poems--and even warmed up the audience by singing a couple of small ditty's from my fantasy novel The Stone Dragon. (I'm sure after my singing they were ready for anything else!)
I read two poems, "Words for My Son," (on my webpage) and then "Affirmations at the Mouth of the Well," a longer poem well-suited to reading aloud. I had been asked to read the title poem for my book, "Bare Ruined Choirs," and did so, but it was an emotional experience. The poem is about the last stages of my first wife's life, when she could no longer move. It is a poem, I think, that finds beauty even in the midst of the ugliness of life--but it was the first time I had ever read it to a group. I was glad I completed the poem without losing my voice. I ended with the last poem in the book, "Winter Pasture," a more upbeat poem.
The level of writing displayed by the poets was superb, including poetry from a man in his 80's to an energetic young woman who had spend a year writing a poem a day. Bravery, humor, beauty, love and compassion--quite a night. For me, I most enjoyed listening to other poets who had written on subjects similar to poems I had written. The richness of life experience--the unity in diversity, and the diversity in unity--I think we all did the family of poets proud.
I'd like to thank Rustin Larson and all others for their efforts that made for a successful celebration of National Poetry Month. Some of the poetry published by the poets reading is listed below, but if you live in the Fairfield, Iowa, area, be sure to check out Revelations bookstore. They have a section where they display books from local writers.